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TULIPS covid-19 test swab production to be scaled up to 5 million/ week by May-end

An Indian heath worker takes a swab test for a boy for coronavirus at Government hospital in Jammu. (AP)Premium
An Indian heath worker takes a swab test for a boy for coronavirus at Government hospital in Jammu. (AP)

  • The company has the largest installed capacity of cotton buds in Asia and can ramp up swab production to over 30 million swabs per week
  • With the need for testing going up, the company now plans to scale up the production and would continue to provide polyester swabs at around 3.5 per unit or less

NEW DELHI : Personal hygiene product firm Suparshva Swabs on Wednesday announced that it will scale up manufacturing of its TULIPS brand of polyester swabs, used in testing of covid-19, to 5 million units per week by the end of May from 2 million currently.

The company has the largest installed capacity of cotton buds in Asia and can ramp up swab production to over 30 million swabs per week, if required, in due course, Rahul Jain, partner at Suparshava Swabs, said in a virtual press conference.

Suparshva Swabs was roped in by the government, along with Johnson & Johnson India and another firm, to manufacture the nasal and throat swabs used to collect samples of mucus from the patients throat or nose to test for covid-19 through a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, Jain said.

The swabs then received an approval and validation from Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology for meeting the specifications.

Domestic manufacturing was important as these swabs were earlier not manufactured in India, and were imported from the US or China, and with global demand increasing, it became difficult and expensive to get swabs from other nations.

With the need for testing going up, the company now plans to scale up the production and would continue to provide the polyester swabs at around 3.5 per unit or less, Jain said.

“To fight COVID-19, India will have to increase testing and may need over 7 – 10 million swabs every week, to enable the nation to safely begin easing lockdown restrictions and open the economy. This is significant as India plans aggressively to test its billion plus population for COVID-19 to ensure the virus doesn't spread faster when some of the regulations are relaxed.", said Mr Rajiv Nath, forum coordinator for Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD), was quoted as saying in a company release.

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